The Liberal Democrats have launched a scathing attack on the government's record of rehabilitating offenders after a report into the treatment of young offenders revealed a shocking lack of care and resources.
Of the 50 young offenders observed in the report, just 44% of them received specialist support for their substance misuse problems in the months after they left the young offenders institute, a report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) has uncovered.
Just 11 of the 50 went back into education or training immediately.
The Lib Dems have slammed the government's record on rehabilitation, accusing it of settling for "pathetic soundbites" which is not backed up with resources.
Last year, senior Liberal Democrat John Leech launched an inquiry into the link between prisoners being abandoned upon release and the lack of housing available to them.
He revealed that hundreds of prisoners released each year are at serious risk of ending up on the streets because of a lack of social and affordable homes in major cities like Manchester.
The problem was even worse for young people with little or no support structure in place.
Responding to today's report from HMIP, John Leech said:
“How can we expect to rehabilitate offenders when social services and other provisions are blatantly being starved of the resources they need to provide a solid service?
“The statistics are stark. They spell out the Tories' policy of kicking the vulnerable, rather than offering them a helping hand and integrating them back into society.
“Rather than paying lip service to the work of the front line services who work with young offenders, how about the government provides the funding these services need?
"No more pathetic soundbites. Let's have a change of course and give young offenders a chance to succeed in society."